The Two Sides Of the "Convert Or Die" Coin

Mark Davis
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Posted: Sep 05, 2014 12:01 AM
The Two Sides Of the "Convert Or Die" Coin

The folks at the Daily Kos must have grinned at their cleverness Wednesday, proud of a Jed Lewison story headlined: “Hannity scores exclusive interview with bearded fanatic who declares: ‘Convert them or kill them.’”

The most common recent examples of such imagery involve jihadists affecting their centuries-old practice of conversion at swordpoint, offering a deadly choice to non-Muslims unfortunate enough to remain in an Iraq no longer protected by America: abandon your faith to adopt ours, or die. 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis were stranded on a mountaintop by that dark coercion.

But the Hannity interview was not with an Islamic State kingpin; it was with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, who defined two options for dealing with such terrorists: “Convert them or kill them.”

And in the foggy morality of the left, where the Robertson clan’s Biblical beliefs are more repugnant than radical Islam, that makes Phil the Bin Laden of the Bayou.

If there are no fifth graders available to offer a swift correction of this logical absurdity, I will step into the vacuum.

When Islamic State butchers offer their victims the choice to convert or die, it is based on their crusade to obliterate competing faiths. The push for the new caliphate is on, from Libya to London, and presumably, from Pakistan to Peoria if we allow it. It is based on the Quranic instruction to fight and even kill those who fail to fall in line with Mohammed.

The Robertson dichotomy is the choice we have if we are to protect ourselves from these monsters. Quite a different basis, but a distinction unobserved by those eager to soft-pedal terrorism while stigmatizing Christianity.

While I would be pleased for the hooded executioners and their fans to find Jesus and drop their instruments of murder, full conversion from Islam to Bible belief is not necessary to de-fang the Islamist threat. Terrorists may convert to Christianity; they may convert to Judaism; they may convert to Buddhism; they may convert to atheism; they may pivot to the large but too-quiet patchwork of the Muslim faith that has embraced lawfulness and peace.

But they must abandon their faith-driven zeal to kill us. Since that is unlikely, we will have to kill them first, presuming we can cobble together the national will and the national leadership to actually rejoin a war that never stopped.

So while Phil was almost certainly talking about specific Christian conversion, the root truth remains: it does not matter what faith the Islamists adopt. What matters is the doctrine they must be compelled to abandon.

They will not be pried loose by the detached indifference of a President annoyed by the war’s irksome drain on his hobbies of social justice and government expansionism. They are not remotely cowed by Joe Biden’s cartoonish “gates of hell” rant.

There is only one path toward protecting America from the growing threat of radical Islam. Its practitioners must be shown that if they continue beheading Americans and other innocents, and mowing murderously through non-compliant populations, they will die at our hands.

This may thrill some of them. Fine. The afterlife of a terrorist is between the terrorist and God. As the saying goes, it is the civilized world’s job to arrange the meeting.

The glow of martyrdom is a strong aphrodisiac among the jihadist hordes, but it is a good bargain that once American bombers, drones, and yes, boots on the ground start racking up hefty death tolls in their ranks, many will experience a sudden epiphany.

The choice we present to our enemy — change your ways or die— is the precise moral opposite of the Islamic State motivation to kill for the simple sin of choosing another faith.

We are forced to offer that stark choice to save our own lives. Once radical Islam calms its blood lust, and thus its radicalism, it is welcome to join the next crusade— the conversion of the Middle East to a region where citizens of varying faiths vote for their own leaders and plot their own futures in an atmosphere of liberty and democracy.

We desperately need a President who can articulate this vision and lead America out of its suicidal war-weariness and into a new resolve, to win this battle of civilizations once and for all.

The sad fact of today is that a Louisiana duck-call magnate understands this urgency and our Commander-in-Chief does not.